The “less is more” philosophy probably wasn’t thought up by skiers or snowboarders; especially when racking up days on the mountain, the more acres the better, as more expansive resorts provide less crowds, and bigger areas to explore. North America is home to some of the largest resorts in the world, and American resorts, in particular, have long been home to some of the best spots for limitless powder stashes and unparalleled terrain. These American resorts are the biggest in terms of most lift accessible acreage, and make the case that more most certainly is more.
1) Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
With the takeover of Park City by Vail Resorts, this Utah classic now has joined with neighboring Canyons Resort, creating 7,300 acres of skiable terrain. This season marks the beginning of the era of the New Park City, which was accompanied by $50 million in upgrades by Vail Resorts to connect the two resorts via gondola, and create the most extensive skiing in the United States. This is the season to head to Utah and check out all that the New Park City has to offer.
2) Big Sky Resort, Montana
Head up North to experience the best of Big Sky Country, where four mountains connected by lifts make up 5,800 acres of some of the best American skiing at Big Sky Resort. It’s latitude lends itself to impressive annual snowfall, while it’s location near Bozeman makes it just accessible enough for some of the least crowded powder turns you can imagine. Steep and deep, Big Sky is the place to go for views, terrain, and plenty of acreage.
3) Vail Mountain Resort, Colorado
Dubbing itself the ‘ultimate Colorado ski resort,’ Vail leaves little to be desired as it’s 5,289 acres comes in the form of 7 back bowls on top of an already extensive front side. While the weekend traffic can sometimes give this behemoth a bad rap, anyone willing to put in a little bit of elbow grease towards exploring will be greatly rewarded. As for mid week powder days, there are few better places to be.
4) Heavenly Mountain Resort, California
Known for it’s iconic location on Lake Tahoe, Heavenly has it all with big views and big acreage, at 4,800 acres. Not only does Heavenly’s vast area lend itself to a wide range of terrain, but visitors have the novelty of skiing into Nevada from it’s base area in California. While the drought has affected snowfall the last few years at California’s biggest resort, weather experts are predicting that this Winter’s El Niño occurrence will dump some serious snow in the area.
5) Squaw Valley Ski Resort, California
One of the more storied resorts in the skiing and snowboarding world, Squaw cracks the top five at 3,600 skiable acres. Along with Squaw Valley’s extensive terrain, this California classic played host to the Winter Olympics in 1960, and provided the foundation for much of the eclectic culture of skiing and snowboarding- I mean really, Hot Dog…The Movie, anyone? From groomers to chutes to ski ballet, Squaw has a little bit of everything, and makes for the ultimate California ski vacation.
What’s better for working off that Turkey Day sluggishness than hitting the mountain? The season is just starting, and lots of snow is already in the forecast. Plan your trip to explore some of the biggest and best America has to offer.